This is a healthy Japchae recipe made with sweet potato noodles and tossed with a variety of vegetables and beef. Gluten free and refined sugar free with delicious Korean flavors your family will love.
Japchae is my son’s favorite Korean noodle dish, so he requests for it often. I created this healthy japcahe recipe with no gluten or refined sugar, that tastes just as delicious as the original- so we can enjoy more of it! It’s a tasty and flavorful dish, loaded with fresh sautéed veggies, beef and chewy sweet potato noodles.
Shiitake mushrooms – I highly recommend using fresh shiitake mushrooms. They bring an earthy umami-ness and nice bite to the dish. You can find shiitake at your local Asian mart, but if you are unable to find them, portobello or button mushrooms will work fine.
Vegetables – Onion, spinach, carrots and bell pepper.
Beef – I use a sirloin cut.
Notes on japchae sauce and other seasoning
Coconut aminos – this recipe is made without soy sauce, making it gluten free. Coconut aminos is a great substitute. It’s a sauce made of coconut sap and tastes savory, salty and sweet.
If you don’t have coconut aminos, gluten-free tamari sauce will work as well.
Honey – Japchae is usually on the sweeter side made with cane sugar, I opted for honey for some natural sweetness instead.
Roasted sesame seeds – For garnish and extra sesame flavor.
Spinach seasoning – Sesame oil, minced garlic and salt.
Japchae Noodles – are gluten free and contain sweet potato starch. You can find these at your local Asian mart.
Prep the Ingredients
Cut the carrots into matchstick size pieces. Cut bell pepper and onions into thin long pieces. Slice the beef and mushrooms into thin pieces.
Cook the Ingredients
Blanch the spinach in hot water. Then rinse it with cold water and squeeze the water out with your hands. Add the spinach seasoning and mix.
Saute the veggies and meat.
Japchae ingredients are usually cooked separately, but I combined some of the ingredients together to cook faster. I chose ingredients that were similar to each other without losing the color or texture.
Saute the onions first, then set aside. Next, saute the carrots and bell peppers together until soft, but ensure they still have a bite to them.
Saute the beef and mushrooms together. Add a couple tablespoons of the japchae sauce for some flavor. Cook until the meat is done.
Cook the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from sticking together.
Mix it Together!
Add the noodles and sauce into a large mixing bowl. Combine the sauce evenly into the noodles and allow it to absorb the flavors. Then add the veggies, meat and mix well into the noodles. Garnish with sesame seeds.
To make this dish vegetarian, make it without the meat.
Japchae can be eaten warm or cold. Add a side of kimchi if you like some spicy crunch.
You can make japchae with beef, chicken, tofu, or egg. It’s really versatile…make it your way.
If you like to eat it warm, just heat it up in the microwave. You can also heat it up in a pan, you will need to add extra oil to prevent the noodles from sticking and clumping together.
If you like this healthy gluten-free japchae recipe please comment below to show me some love. For more healthy Asian recipes, check out my Korean tofu rice bowls and Whole30 Vietnamese beef stew posts!
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Healthy Japchae Recipe
- 9 ounces Korean sweet potato noodles about half a package of 500 gram noodles
- 5 ounces sirloin beef, thinly sliced
- ¼ onion, thinly sliced
- ½ bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, cut into matchstick sizes
- 3 ounces shiitake mushroom, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces spinach, stems cut off 1 bunch
- 1 garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
- sesame seeds for garnish
Prep the ingredients
- Cut the onion, bell pepper, mushroom into thin slices. Keep ingredients separate. Cut the carrot into matchstick size pieces.
Make the spinach seasoning
- Add the minced garlic, sesame oil and salt in a small bowl. Mix well.
Make the japchae sauce
- Add coconut aminos, honey, sesame oil salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well.
Cook the ingredients
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the spinach for about 30 seconds.
- Scoop the spinach out and drain. Keep the pot of water to cook the noodles in. Rinse spinach with cold water, then squeeze the water out with your hand. Add the seasoning to the spinach and combine well. Set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large pan on medium high heat. Add onions and cook until slightly yellow and soft, about 3-4 minutes. Take out of skillet and set aside.
- Add additional oil as needed to the same pan. Add carrots and bell peppers and cook until slightly soft, with still a bend and bite to the vegetables, about 3-4 minutes. Take out of the pan and set aside.
- Add additional oil as needed to the same pan. Add shiitake mushrooms and meat. Add 2 tablespoons of japchae sauce to the pan and mix well. Cook until meat is done, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Cook the sweet potato noodles according to the package directions, boil for about 5-6 minutes. Make sure to not overcook the noodles. The texture should not break easily and will have a chew to it.
- When done cooking, drain and rinse the noodles under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
- Place the noodles in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining japchae sauce and mix well into the noodles.
- Add the spinach, onions, bell peppers, mushroom, beef and carrots into the noodles and combine well.
- Garnish with sesame seeds.